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If you need to visit Australia on business, even for a very short period of time, you will need to apply for an Australian visa. This article gives some basic details of the three types of business visa available.

Australian Visa - Business Visits

Australian Visa - Business VisitsIf you need to visit Australia on business, even for a very short period of time, you will need to apply for an Australian visa. This article gives some basic details of the three types of business visa available.There are three types of visa available for business visits to Australia. It should be noted that a business visit is NOT the same as "working" in the context of applying for an Australian visa.The first is a Short Stay Business Visa which is suitable for a visit of less than three months. This will cover a business person for normal business meetings, negotiations and conferences and may be applied for through their chosen airline or via the internet. This is a Business Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Alternatively, applications may be made in writing.The second type of business visa is a Sponsored Business Visitor (short stay) Visa. In order to quality for this type of visa, a business person will need to be sponsored by a member of an Australian parliament, an authorised government agency, local mayor or other authorised organisation and the sponsor will need to guarantee that their visitor will abide by all the visa conditions including that which specifies the date by which they must leave the country.The third business visa is a Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa. To apply for one of these, an applicant must have an approved employer as a sponsor who has an eligible position available. The employer can be an Australian or overseas company and the employee must be a foreign national with the applicable skills to fill the position. The eligible position must have been approved as a skilled occupation suitable for this program, must be full time and of a minimum salary as well as meeting various Australian laws and award requirements. However, before the employee can apply for a visa, the employer will need to apply to be a sponsor of overseas employees and nominate the job vacancies to be filled. The nomination period will be 12 months or until all the vacancies are filled, whichever is the shorter. The sponsorship will be for a period of 2 years and the visa period may be anything from 3 months to 4 years. However, if the employee wishes to change employment, he will need to find a new approved sponsor with an eligible position and re-apply for a visa.Full details of all the above can be found on the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs website.In our next article, we will look at working in Australia as opposed to being a business visitor.

Get masked for your special Venice Carnival

Get masked for your special Venice Carnival

For those of you who dont know what to expect from it, be ready for the unexpected. Hopefully you will be enchanted by a foggy day, where people with long cloaks and masks mysteriously appear and disappear on the ancient Venetian alleys (calli), or maybe you will be lucky enough to experience Venice under a blanket of snow as it is today. One of the first things for you to do once in town, is to get a costume and a mask. There are various Venetian costume-shops where you can choose from dozens of rental costumes. Not only to show off in St. Marks square but even in local private parties. For a XVIII century Venetian dress be ready to spend around 150-200 euros for the first day and around 50-70 euros for the next one. But if you are on a budget or interested in something still typical but more intriguing, this is what we suggest. Find yourself a white or gold bauta (plain typical Venetian mask which should cost between 10-17 euros) a pair of black or white gloves and a long black cloak. Put some white make up on your face, a beauty-spot on your cheek, red lipstick (even for men) and you are done!! You will certainly be asked to pose for tourists pics. Also, do not wait for a party to get masked. On those days you are allowed to mask yourself everywhere everyday. At least this was in the past. You can then take your mask home with you as a souvenir or a gift from your Venetian trip!Where to find your Carnival mask? There are many street vendors where you can buy anything from mass-produced paper to handcrafted papier-mch and leather masks by skilled artisans. But for a quality mask or simply for curiosity, you should visit one of the workshops where masks are made on the premises. Here a couple of the most famous in Venice.Mondonovo (Rio Terr Canal, Dorsoduro 3063 near Campo Santa Margherita: take vaporetto line N.1 and stop at Ca' Rezzonico; phone +39 041287 344).Laboratorio Artigiano Maschere (Barbaria delle Tole, Castello 6657 near the SS Giovanni e Paolo church: stop at the Ospedale vaporetto station; phone: +39 041522 3110See also these websites where you can buy or compare prices: tragicomica.it, morgana.ve.it, bluemoonmask.com, veniceatelier.comAlso be prepared to spend quite a lot in Venice for an accommodation during Carnival period. Hotels are usually fully booked since the previous year because of course.. any tourist would love to be there in that period. For budget accommodation in Venice consider hostels as Ai Musici hostel, ai Mori Hostel or il Veliero Romantico youth hostel very close to the Train Station. Apartments are also a good solution. Some of them are listed in Flashbooking.com where some part for 5 people cost around 160 euros. Or you can find some alternative solutions at the Lonely Planet website. Alternative solutions still interesting could be in Mestre and the Riviera del Brenta where also many events ( theatres, concerts, parties in Villas) are regularly held for Carnival.

Teaching

Teaching

Teaching English as foreign language (or second language) is an excellent option for visiting new parts of the world. Because English is commonly used for diplomacy, higher education, business and technology, English teachers and classes are in high demand around the worldwide. Knowing how to teach English also provides you with an excellent skill to be used in volunteering. There are opportunities around the world where people would benefit from knowing English, yet they do not have the funds to enroll in classes, or perhaps they dont have access to any classes at all. If teaching English isnt for you, international schools require native English speakers to teach other subjects as well, such as mathematics, science, history, and the arts.What is TEFL, ESL, EFL, etc.?There are lots of different abbreviations and acronyms to refer to teaching English. Here is a quick simplifier ELT: English Language Teaching or English Language TrainingEFL: English as a Foreign LanguageESL: English as a Second LanguageESOL: English for Speakers of Other LanguagesEAL: English as an Additional LanguageTEFL: Teaching English as a Foreign LanguageTESL: Teaching English as a Second LanguageTEAL: Teaching English as an Additional LanguageTESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other LanguagesAll of the above abbreviations are used for essentially the same thing, however, you may notice that generally ESL is used for non-native speakers learning English in an English speaking country, and EFL is for non-native-speaks learning English in a non-English speaking environment, such as their own country. Moreover, Americans tend to use ESL more, and British teachers tend to use EFL. EAL is an attempt to bridge the gap between the two. Oftentimes people learn English not as their second language, but as their third, fourth or more. Also, EAL avoids using the word foreign, which is considered by the more politically correct to have an unpleasant inference. Do I need a certificate to teach English? There are many opportunities around the world to teach English without a certificate. However, certification does help, especially if there is an application process involved and positions are competitive.Do I need to speak a foreign language to teach people English?Theoretically, to teach English you should only need to speak one language. However, if you are teaching in a foreign country, there is no doubt that some knowledge of that countrys culture and language can make your job much easier, and probably allow you to make your lessons more relevant and interesting for your students. If your students are of mixed international backgrounds, then knowing one or two foreign languages may not be of assistance to the entirety of the group.There is some benefit to your teaching if you do in fact know a foreign language or have learnt one. By having first hand experience of being a student, you are able to have a more complete perspective of the student/teacher relationship and the trials and tribulations of those you teach. Moreover, learning another language provides you with valuable insight about grammar, such as verb conjugations and tenses, which come naturally to a native speaker. Many other languages use similar grammatical formats as English, and by learning a foreign language you might be able to examine your native language more carefully. Do I need to speak English as my native language to teach English? You certainly dont have to speak English as your native tongue; however you must have excellent fluency and writing skills to start a training course for certification. Oftentimes non-native speakers make the best teachers, however. If youve been through it yourself then you are able to relate to what your students will be dealing with. How long will it take to become certified?Certification is a pretty quick process, usually taking four weeks or considerably less. You can take the course full time, part time, or through distance learning. There are options to suit whichever method or time frame you prefer.

When Planning Your Convention Dont Forget VanGo

When Planning Your Convention Dont Forget VanGo

Los Angeles, California is a convention hotspot. With the warm weather, the friendly people and all the sites to see, attending a convention in this vacation paradise is always welcomed. If youre planning a convention why not go with VanGo for your transportation needs?VanGo specializes in providing all types of transportation including airport transfers for convention guests. You can arrange to be picked up at any of the "Los Angeles" , California airports and taken directly to your hotel. Whether you are flying in to the LA area for a one-on-one business meeting or you are taking part in a convention, your transportation needs will be met.For businesses planning a convention they can also turn to VanGo to arrange airport transfers for all of their out-of-town guests. Convention travel can be easily arranged and each guest will get first class treatment from the moment they arrive at the airport.Another area where VanGo can aid in convention travel is getting your guests from the hotel to the convention site. Many convention guests may be unfamiliar with the Los Angeles area and providing them door-to-door transportation will calm any transportation nerves they may have. The type of vehicle you require for your convention travel needs is an important consideration. If you are hosting a large number of guests, VanGo can supply charter buses or limousines. If your guest list is more modest consider providing vans or cars to handle the airport transfers for you.VanGo drivers are well-versed in the area surrounding and including Los Angeles, California and will ensure that your guests are safely delivered to their destination. They will be punctual and professional at all times. When your out-of-town guests arrive at the airport, a VanGo vehicle will be waiting for them.When you are hosting a convention, first impressions are vitally important. You want your guests to leave with a great experience behind them. Without the worry of transportation hanging over their heads they will have a more comfortable and relaxed experience.Contact VanGo for all of your convention travel needs. Your attendees will be impressed with how thorough youve been in planning and theyll remember your company in the future. Every part of their convention experience should be taken care of for them. With VanGo at your side you can be certain that the transportation experience will be a great one for everyone involved.

Plan Your Return Before You Go

Return TransportationYou should confirm your return reservation at least twice, and at least 72 hours before your scheduled departure. Whenever possible, obtain a written confirmation. If you confirm your "return reservation" by phone, record the time, day, and the name of the agent who took your call. If your name does not appear on the reservations list, you have no recourse and may find yourself stranded.Departure TaxSome countries levy an airport departure tax on travelers, which can be as high as $50. Please ask the airline or a travel agent about this tax. Make certain to have enough money at the end of your trip so that you will be able to get on the plane.Immigration and CustomsIf a passport was required for your trip, have it ready when you go through Immigration and Customs. If you took other documents with you, such as an International Certificate of Vaccination, a medical letter, or a Customs certificate of registration for foreign-made personal articles, have them ready, also. Have your receipts handy, in case you need to support your customs declaration. When returning to the United States by car from Mexico or Canada, have your certificate of vehicle registration available. It is a good idea to pack your baggage in a way to make inspection easier. For example, pack the articles you acquired abroad separately, if possible.Articles acquired abroad and brought back with you are subject to duty and Internal Revenue tax. U.S. Customs currently allows each U.S. citizen to bring back $400 worth of merchandise duty free, provided the traveler has been outside the United States for at least 48 hours, has not already used this exemption within the preceding 30 day period, and provided the traveler can present the purchases upon his or her arrival at the port of entry. The next $1,000 worth of items brought back for personal use or gifts are subject to duty at a flat 10% rate. (Your duty-free exemption may include 100 cigars, 200 cigarettes, and one liter of wine, beer or liquor.) Make sure you check for the latest information as this changes periodically.There are two groups of destinations from which the "duty-free exemption" is higher. These are a group of 24 countries and dependencies in the Caribbean and Central America from which the exemption is $600, and a group of U.S. insular possessions (the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam), from which the exemption is $1,200.Ensure you declare all that you purchased or received as gifts overseas. If you are selected to have your baggage checked upon arrival, cooperate with the U.S. Customs agent and, unless you have something to hide, this should only take a few minutes. If you are caught with undeclared items, be prepared to pay stiff penalties.Plan ahead save time and money.

Thailand Tailors

I see this question on many forums. Guys want to know if they should buy some tailor-made clothes in Thailand. My answer is yes, if you do it right.First off, it really doesnt matter which tailor shop you go to. They are all basically the same and all they do is measure you and send the order to a sweat shop. I consider them measurers and not tailors.The ones that I avoid are the ones on the street with their little book of samples wanting to meet and greet me. I avoid them like the plague and consider them total nuisances.I will find one on my own and look at the quality of the material on display. Then I get a rough idea of the prices. Of course, for better material you can expect to pay more.Here is how I do my "tailor-made clothes" shopping;- I only buy when I am going to get a small quantity like 6 pair of slacks and a dozen shirts. I dont buy suits because I live in Hawaii and slacks and dress shirts are acceptable.- I visit the "tailor" at the beginning of my vacation. I want to make sure that neither of us is rushed.- I tell the guy that I plan to buy 6 pair of slacks and 12 shirts, but he has to make one set for inspection first. Then if acceptable, he can do the rest.- I also tell him that I am a lazy, single man and want everything to be wash and wear. I refuse to iron clothes.- I insist on three fittings. And I am specific on the cut, cuffs or not, a longer zipper than the Thai's normally put on slacks, and an inner liner to the knees.- For the shirts, I have the female in the store pick out colors and patterns that match. I have a hard time visualizing when the material is still just material. I have her pick material for two shirts for every pair of slacks.- I also select which shirts I want a longer tail on. These are the ones that will get tucked in. I want some of the shirts to have a flat cut on the bottom to wear outside of the slacks.- I tell them not to put any stiff inserts into the collars. They will say that it will soften after a few washings. Dont believe it. I tell them that if there is anything in the collar, I will cancel the order.- Since I am older and getting fatter, I also have them toss in a bit of elastic in the waistband in case I gain a pound or three.- I pay a minimum deposit once I have seen the first set completed and will pay in full when all is done. I give them a drop-dead date about 3 days before I depart to allow time for any mistakes.- Once the "tailor' has my order complete, I take the time to over every piece of clothing with a fine tooth comb. I check every stitch and ensure that there are no mistakes. I try on every piece of clothing to make sure they fit.- On occasion, I have even brought in a pair of slacks that I already own that fit me like a glove, and tell them to just make 6 more exactly the same.You can get some good deals on tailor-made clothes in Thailand if you plan it out and do it properly. Dont rush and dont get talked into more expensive material than you really need.

Summary

If you need to visit Australia on business, even for a very short period of time, you will need to apply for an Australian visa. This article gives some basic details of the three types of business visa available.